Learning by Following a Food Source

Science  31 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4140, pp. 1005-1008
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4140.1005


Hungry pigeons first learned to eat grain from the experimenter's hand. When the hand approached and "pecked" a small disk to produce grain in a food hopper, the pigeons followed the hand rapidly learned to peck the disk. Birds given operant conditioning training took significantly longer to learn the same response. Under natural conditions, young animals may learn to behave like their parents simply by following parental sources of food.